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Thibault Bluy
Thursday 8 October 2020 Last update on Thursday, October 8, 2020 At 11:56 AM

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune officially launched on October 3rd in Algiers a national fund for the financing of start-ups, called the Algerian Start-up Fund (ASF). This support mechanism added to numerous administrative and fiscal facilities, in a clear desire to make Algerian start-ups the "locomotives" of diversified economic development.

This new source of funding will allow entrepreneurs to “avoid banks and the bureaucratic slowness that results from it, and will be distinguished by the flexibility and risk tolerance that start-ups need,” said the head of state, in front of more than 1,000 economic and political actors gathered for the opening of a conference called “Algeria Disrupt 2020”.

This mechanism aims to “meet, together, the major challenges for building an economy based on knowledge and innovation [by generating] revenues outside hydrocarbons and conventional resources,” added the president, describing start-ups as “locomotives to this new economic model”. A new direction confirmed by Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad, also present.

“Strong potential, high ambitions”

This new financial mechanism was developed jointly by the Ministry for the Knowledge Economy and Start-ups and six public companies (Sonatrach, Banque de développement local, Crédit populaire d’Algérie, Banque extérieure d’Algérie, Banque nationale d’Algérie and Caisse nationale d’épargne et de prévoyance-Banque). With an initial amount of about 20 million dollars – in comparison, the equivalent aid in Tunisia amounts to 100 million euros – it can be funded by both public and private, national and international actors.

At the same time, a digital platform will be inaugurated on October 15th to identify “high-potential, high-impact initiatives” that will be able to obtain the “start-up” label – instituted by executive decree – , and thus benefit from administrative and tax advantages. The Ministry of Justice will have to simplify procedures and walis [prefects] will have to facilitate access to industrial land, said the President of the Republic.

The sector will be strengthened by incubators and accelerators, with the aim of creating at least one of these structures per wilaya.

Yacine Oualid, Minister in charge of the Knowledge Economy and Start-ups

“The sector will be strengthened by a number of measures that will be taken to […] ensure a better regulatory framework and establish funding mechanisms and support structures such as incubators and accelerators [with the aim of creating at least one per wilaya], ” said Yacine Oualid, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister in charge of the Knowledge Economy and Start-ups.

The government representative also took the opportunity to point out favorable measures taken in this regard in the framework of the 2020 supplementary finance law, such as the possibility of resorting to participatory financing.

Fighting youth emigration

“We need funding to implement our projects, but we also need to be supervised on the technical aspect to be able to finalize our innovations and enable their marketing,” commented the representative of the club “Celec” of the Faculty of Electronics of the University Houari Boumediene Bab Ezzouar (Algiers), quoted by the official agency Algérie presse service (APS).

“He who perseveres and succeeds will be doubly rewarded, and he who fails will at least have the merit of having tried. We are going to finance and if the idea does not succeed, the young person will be able to try again until he finds his way and the idea that will benefit him and the national economy,” concluded President Tebboune, showing his desire that the youth “realize his dreams” without needing to emigrate.